05 February 2010

Taxpayers shafted

On February 2, Abitibi notified the provincial government that the company vacated the only properties the provincial government didn’t expropriate in December 2008.

As a result, the taxpayers of Newfoundland and Labrador are entirely responsible for cleaning up whatever environmental mess may be attached to the century old facility.

There is no word on how big the problems at the old paper mill are or how much it will cost taxpayers to clean it up.

The official government release on the development is a masterpiece of uncommunication from a department – natural resources – that has become legendary for its practice of the dark art of misinformation. 

There is even a complete contradiction in the claim at the front – namely that the provincial government is now responsible for the sit in every respect and a statement at the back that Abitibi is still liable.

This is the third financial shaft to be felt by taxpayers resulting from the 2008 expropriation.  The first is the yet-unresolved bill for the expropriation itself.  The second is the voluntary payment by the provincial government of money owed by the company.